Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - April 12, 2010

From: Milford, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Deer-resistant, shade tolerant evergreens for privacy in Milford MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm looking for deer resistant evergreens that will be planted in the shade. I need the evergreens to hide an area I don't want to see from my home. Hence, they need to go tall. Can you give me a recommendation?

ANSWER:

This is what we call a "designer tree." Many gardeners believe that if they describe what they want completely enough, we will find it. Wish we could. Finding shade tolerant, evergreen and deer-resistant shrubs or trees, in southeastern Michigan, Zone 5b to 6a, is going to be tough. We have a list of Deer-Resistant Plants, which we will sort by looking for Michigan natives, trees, shrubs (on separate searches) and  part shade and shade. And you do realize that deer don't read well, but they do eat indiscriminately, and will as soon eat your list as avoid your trees.

As we suspected, there was exactly one shrub/tree that fulfilled all your requirements - Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar). It is common in your part of the state, grows in sun, part shade or shade and is on the deer-resistant list. However (there is always an "however"), junipers are difficult to transplant, unless they are very small. They ordinarily grow to 30 to 40 ft. tall, but can get as much as 90 ft. tall. The deer do not like the junipers because they are aromatic and prickly. It is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 9. The only description of growth rate we could find was "moderate," whatever that means. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Austin Shade Plants for Pots
March 28, 2010 - I live in a condo in Austin Texas so I don't have any flower beds or yard space. I would like to put a few large pots of plants and flowers on my front patio but it's mostly shaded during the day. W...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
June 17, 2010 - Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
view the full question and answer

Grass for shady area
June 21, 2011 - I need to find a grass that can grow in a shady area, with some sun. Drought resistant and preferably native to the area. Would like to find a sod if possible. I know it's not a great time to plant n...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf lawn in Carson City, NV
October 15, 2013 - I planted habiturf just south of Reno NV May 5. First two months no or little germination because nite temps too cold. Now doing ok except battling purslane and redstem filaree.. SO, I notice bare/spa...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.